"Wildlife at Risk Face Long Line at U.S. Agency"

"In February, the Obama administration declared the Pacific walrus to be at risk of extinction because its Arctic habitat was melting. But it declined to list the marine mammal as an endangered species, saying a backlog of other animals faced greater peril.

Now, it turns out, the walrus is on a very long waiting list.

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service is in emergency triage mode as it struggles with an avalanche of petitions and lawsuits over the endangered species list, the chief tool for protecting plants and animals facing extinction in the United States. Over the last four years, a few environmental groups have requested that more than 1,230 species be listed, compared with the previous 12 years in which annual requests averaged only 20 species."

Todd Woody reports for the New York Times April 20, 2011.


Source: NY Times, 04/21/2011